Are Australians Dumb Drunk and Racist?

Joe Hildebrand takes four Indians on an Australian road trip to find out. Starts Wednesday 20 June 9.30pm on ABC 2.

Australians get a bad rap overseas, and our stocks seem especially low in India. In fact, a sizeable chunk of India’s 1.2 billion people think Aussies are dumb, drunk and racist. But doesn’t every country have its negative stereotypes? In this six-part factual series, journalist Joe Hildebrand takes four Indians on a road trip around Australia to examine our worst stereotypes – are we really beer-swilling, racist bogans, or are we simply misunderstood? Shot on location in India and across Australia, this series puts its Indian protagonists smack bang in the middle of passionate debates and immersive experiences that could change their opinion of Australia forever. After three weeks of seeing the good, the bad and the ugly up close, will our intrepid Indian travellers still think that Australians are dumb, drunk and racist? And what will we think of ourselves, after seeing Australia through their eyes?

Dumb Drunk and Racist


EPISODE 1 Wednesday 20 June 9.30 pm on ABC 2

Whether we like it or not, Australia has an image problem overseas. But there’s one country that seems to have a poorer image of Australians than any other – India. Journalist Joe Hildebrand sets out on a pilgrimage to Delhi and beyond to examine this anti-Australian sentiment.

While in India Joe meets the four locals who will join him on a road trip across Australia. As a newsreader and journalist for a Hindi network, Gurmeet Chaudhary was shocked by the negative stories appearing regularly in the Indian media. Call centre worker Mahima Bhardwaj takes Joe through the unpleasant encounters she’s had with Aussies over the phone. Amer Singh is a third year law student in Chandigargh who decided it was safer to stay in India to study. Radhika Budhwar advises Indian students where they should study overseas; she hasn’t recommended Australia for the last five years. All agree to risk life and limb to visit our reviled and dangerous country. Joe kicks off the Australian tour by mixing the glitz and glamour of Sydney Harbour with Australia’s most renowned beach, Bondi. The travellers quickly become seduced by the beauty down under. But before his guests relax too much,

Joe stops them in their tracks with a provocative mural plastered on an inner-city wall. The mural – which reads ‘say no to burqas’ – sparks off the first heated debate… and the Indians aren’t the only ones upset by the message the mural carries.

EPISODE 2 Wednesday 27 June 9.30 pm on ABC 2

Joe and the Indian tourists dive head first into Australia’s multicultural melting pot. Despite being a nation built by successive waves of refugees, the most recent arrivals often cop the most flack and in Australia in 2012, it is Australian Muslims who are on the front line.

Mahima, Radhika, Gurmeet and Amer are in the second week of their ‘dumb, drunk and racist’ road trip, and begin this episode in Sydney’s Lakemba – a suburb with a predominantly Muslim population. Radhika is clearly surprised by the lack of white people in Lakemba: “This is not really Australia… these people have built their own country in another country.” Later, Radhika and Mahima meet Nasro, a Somalian refugee, who tells them that although she has experienced kindness, she has little doubt that most Australians are racist.

Venturing deeper into the heart of this issue, Joe takes the travellers to Cronulla beach and tells them the story of the infamous 2005 riots. The footage of that awful day shocks everyone and brings law student Amer to tears. The crew then travel back into the heart of Sydney’s Western suburbs and play a game of soccer with the all-women, multi-ethnic Lakembaroos.

Finally Joe takes them to Villawood Immigration Detention Centre. There they meet members of the Australian Protectionist Party, a group that believes multiculturalism is a failure and Muslim immigration should be stopped altogether. As they are talking, several pro-refugee advocates arrive and tempers flare as the Indians find themselves in the middle of a heated argument about multiculturalism.

Australians Racists?

Wednesday 4 July at 9.30pm on ABC2

Joe takes the intrepid travellers to Melbourne, a city that has had its reputation tarnished overseas because of a spate of attacks on Indian students. But were they really racist attacks, or more a case of the students being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Wednesday 11 July at 9.30pm on ABC2

This episode looks at how Australia treats its Indigenous population and the often volatile relationship between black and white. The Indians travel into the heart of Australia to talk to Indigenous Australians, but not everything goes according to plan.

Wednesday 18 July at 9.30pm on ABC2

Joe gives the Indians a crash course in what constitutes an ‘average Aussie’. Are we bushies, bogans or battlers? Why do we celebrate our larrikins but hide our laureates? The crew try to discover the truth behind these stereotypes, but it’s in the suburbs of Brisbane that Gurmeet’s view of Australia is really challenged.

Wednesday 25 July at 9.30pm on ABC2

After a three week road trip, the Indians’ Australian odyssey is nearly at an end. But first, just how drunk are we? The crew experiences a cricket game, a club crawl, a pub, a bachelor and spinster ball and an emergency ward to find out how deeply alcohol is entwined in Australian culture.


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32 Responses to Are Australians Dumb Drunk and Racist?

  1. Kym June 9, 2012 at 11:30 am

    The problem is simple, the white man is greedy and now the tables have turned and we have become weak. The Australian has become over the years to complacent,” she’ll be wright mate! Wrong, wrong and wrong, we should fight for what is ours! So for me it is not about being racist. The ethnics that have come to this country and still arriving in this country that think we are a racist nation really need to take a good hard look at the meaning of that word.

    • Greg June 19, 2012 at 3:37 am

      Why just Australians. name and shame them all. You will find the list will be swamped with Indians.

      • Shayne O June 22, 2012 at 5:13 am

        wah wah wah, the brown man is opressing us somehow. Harden up princess.

      • Fed up July 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm

        You know, it’s nationalistic bigots like you that make Australia such a stupid place to
        live in. Congratulations dumb ass, this article was written about you! I have met so many people like you here in Australia and it seems you are all plagued with the same problem. You are all uneducated low-life, “get-out of our country” screaming, socially selective, high-society wannabe, ignorant rejects who think the world owes you something for nothing. The problem here isn’t the immigrants. No, the problem is you! The next time you wanna go running your mouth whinging about ‘rude’ little Indian telemarketers, I suggest you go and research your countries history on the 1958 Australia’s Migration Act. Do you you know what that is? It was Australia’s approach to the rebuilding of the country after the bombing of Darwin in 1942. Do you know why it was created? It was created because due to your countries racist ‘White Australian Policy’ along with the aftermath of the Japanese bombing in Darwin, Australia failed to produce ‘White Australians’ that were willing to get off of their asses and do any form of work! So because their great ‘WHITE’ idea had died in the ass, your ancestors decided they would do immigrants a ‘favor’ by allowing them the opportunity to become Australian citizens. Do you wanna know why? I’ll tell you why. It’s because your forefathers knew that since your lazy ass, ‘give us a fair go’ ‘White Australia’ ancestors wouldn’t work, they had to open the doors to outsiders because they knew the jobs would get done. And yet even still today your parents, grandparents and leaders whine and whinge about a fair go. Do you know why? Because you have been programmed and conditioned through the lazy habits of your illiterate ancestors to believe that nothing is a ‘fair go’ unless it’s free! Funny that. Get over yourself!! F.Y.I., if it wasn’t for America saving your ungrateful asses during that bombing, your country would be speaking Japanese! And furthermore, if Australia were to remove all Indians, Asians, foreigners from this country, Australia would not function. And pot/kettle… you may not have said it but most certainly have implied it… you are an immigrant calling immigrants, immigrants!! Dumb ass!!!

      • Shayne O June 22, 2012 at 7:15 am

        Oh no! facebook is going to ban me for not being racist or chewing on lead paint flakes or whatever the hell you do in your spare time Greg.

  2. Steve June 21, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Listen up my Indian friends. If we are so dumb, drunk and racist why are you here? Instead of sullying yourself in such a cesspool of mediocrity why not head back India? You know the India you left: the one with it’s caste system, corruption, poverty, terrorism, political and ethnic violence, sewage in the street etc. If you head back today you’ll arrive in time to catch the discussion on the Sikh man who beheaded his daughter for bringing ‘dishonour’ to his family. You’ll still be able to keep up on the news on every perceived or actual slight on Indians in Australia by your world class media.

  3. INTELLIGENT June 21, 2012 at 5:40 am


  4. SUZANNE THOMAS June 22, 2012 at 12:57 am

    How Disgraceful..Look at India first..then Middle East and all the other 3rd world countires. How bloody dare an Australian take this on?? and then to rub insult to injury to ALL WOMEN, not a positive word said about Sergio’s brave and TRUTHFUL stand against suppression of women in their cultures. Australia IS the MOST TOLERANT, OPEN MINDED AND stupid COUNTRY TO BEND OVER BACKWARDS TO APOLOGISE FOR BEING THE PLACE THEY ALL WANT TO COME TO AND LIVE. Why aren’t we proud to be Aussie and let them come here and MIX..instead they keep to themselves mostly and criticise us. We are all a MIXTURE BUT WITH CIVILISED VIEW Of THE WORLD AND WE PRACTICE IT.

    • Greg June 22, 2012 at 4:52 am

      Well said, Unfortunately the no hopers on this site will brand you as racist. Defending one of the most racist countries in the world, india. Stunning in their stupidity really

  5. really cool September 15, 2012 at 4:17 am

    What’s up to every one, the contents present at this web site are genuinely remarkable for people knowledge, well, keep up the good work fellows.

  6. pepole February 18, 2013 at 4:27 am

    australian are racists! why not take some chinese, and see what people react on them!

  7. bob marley April 9, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Australians are freaks … highest concentration of pedophiles, serial rapsits and dumb crap racist morons in the world … im so sad i had to be born and live there for 30 years … half a life wasted with bogans and slutz ….. i sympathise for any life form residing or planning to reside there …….

    omg australians 45 poeple sitting in mcdonalds no one even cares to look at another person on another table … lets just play with our i phones and sms/fb eachother ……….. retarded twits … please bomb this country please please please kill them all

  8. Kenny July 18, 2013 at 7:07 am

    I studied and lived in Australia for 4 years. Queensland and NSW. Its a beautiful country, but it has some of the most horrible people ever. some of the most stuck up, rude, racist, delusional, and yes, ignorant people I have ever encountered in my life. Though its not everyone, but its a vast majority of the white trash indigenous population. In conclusion, if you are not white, its best to avoid Australia at all cost!
    Australia cannot be compared to other western countries like America, Canada or England. They are just…inferior.

  9. Scummy-oz. October 26, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Sunday, 27 October 2013


    I was born overseas.

    I am an Australian citizen.

    I have lived in Australia for the last 46 years.

    This is my honest opinion on the Anglo-Australian people and their culture:
    1. Convict Stock.
    Therefore, they are “Anti-social” and “Anti-people” and profoundly “Unemotional” (Positive Emotions that is) towards strangers including their own people. Strangers only mind you. Especially in “Public Places”.

    The men do not pay lovely compliments to women or to anyone else for that matter.
    The women also are adverse to paying beautiful compliments to anyone.
    Typical “Anti-social” convict behaviour.

    2. Murderers of the English language.
    English is already a bland and boring language that is totally devoid of “Passion and Fire”, and cute body language, and of course is dead in “Suffixes”.

    Anglo-Australians add “Insult to Injury” with their “Poorest Variety of Spoken English” in the entire world; and of course their accent is beyond revolting. Nasal strine is deadly ugly.

    3. Culturally Impoverished.
    The very worst of “Anglia”.
    A convict is a person that is fond of negativity and failure, and despises eloquence of speech and dress and intelletual finesse and sophisticaion.

    4. In Brief.
    Anglo-Australians are:
    Socially Hostile towards strangers
    Intolerant of beauty
    Possess toxic minds
    Love everything that is ugly and unpleasant
    Unwelcoming to migrants
    Up themselves
    Have a high opinion of themselves
    Think and believe that their country is the best in the world
    Suffer from a very low self esteem and a crisis of identity
    Live in denial to their convict strain
    Hate to compliment people on anything
    Are silent towards strangers and ignore them
    Suffer from the “Tall Poppy Syndrome”
    Are totally hateful of everyone who is not like them
    Are unsentimental.

    And of course are:
    Racists to boot.

    There is not one single redeeming feature about you.
    Just listening to you speak fills me up with dread.

    Why don’t I move out of Australia?
    The answer is very simple:
    I am too poor to start a new life elsewhere.
    I have always been poor.
    But if a miracle occurs and I become an instant millionaire overnight; then I would turn my back on this country for ever.

    You have forced me to hate you and loath you for all eternity.

    Go ahead now!
    Reply back to me with foul and stupid and infatile language, and prove to me and to all and sundry on this forum; that I am right about you.

    I will always be miserable so long that I live in Australia.

    Cheers for now,

  10. Sean Greenhalgh December 14, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I’d say the reason why other cultures criticize Australian’s for their way of life is because they don’t have any of it, it’s called jealousy. India is a beautiful country of beautiful people, but the majority are dirt poor by financial means. And lots of countries love to breed hatred to 1st-world ones to create competition. Ever seen a bunch of white American terrorists hijacking a plane in Japan speaking Japanese?: Welcome to Japanese Cinema.

    Wealthy countries are more indulgent, more secular and you guessed it, more selfish. If India was a wealthy country perhaps they would all drink alcohol regularly, be completely self-centered and everyone else would bicker at their behavior.

    Even the lowest payed workers in Australia are relatively ‘wealthy’, by the world’s standards. Most Australians are not highly educated because our workforce does not need them to be (we are also only 200 years old), education for most is simply a means to an end. We are a consumerist nation and if we were more educated perhaps it wouldn’t function so well.

    While some families are living in high-unemployment status countries with no public welfare, wondering where they are going to get their next meal, or struggling to survive through overloaded education systems (and further us towards complete resource depletion, thanks guys…), others already have money in the bank, own more than one house, have a beautiful family and can take their children to the beach to enjoy what life is really about, beyond education, material wealth etc. And that thing is ‘people’! Don’t tell me you wouldn’t take that life if you were given the opportunity…

    Only some, are meant to be the Albert Einsteins, the Isaac Newtons, and it all comes back to self-enlightenment, it doesn’t come from education itself. That’s why even most college graduates are still idiots by most standards. It’s all relative!

    How would you like it if you grew up in a 1st-world country, your parents gave you a great start, etc. And you met someone from a 3rd-world country who started telling you that your culture/cuisine/history pales in comparison to theirs despite the fact your own ruled the whole world and started the industrial revolution? And their country did what again…!? Jealousy. Just remember, nothing ever comes for free in this life, truly…

    So India, I say good on you, if you want to work hard, you will come out on top, perhaps one-day or even in the near future. Then you can eat as much fast-food as you want, drive the best cars, have media that breeds stupidity, be totally narcissistic, have an overweight and already overpopulated country (God save us all…) and perhaps even disrupt world peace, if you may. You’ve got all this to look forward to. Then what are you going to do?

  11. Dr David (Sports Psychologist) July 12, 2015 at 12:11 am

    I have a lot of admiration for Indian people and their high intelligence and open minded attitude.
    The Indian people are more individualistic and original, than Chinese people ( who tend to be more dull and boring and have minds like a computer).
    My close friend Andre, has French & Portuguese Indian mix in him and his optimistic and positive and no-nonsense approach to life, is a credit to the Indian people.
    And whist India is emerging as the “ITALY” of the 21st Century, meanwhile in Orstrayla (Austral-means ‘southern’ in Spanish), is emerging as the “SPAIN” of the 2Ist century. And like Spain, Australia celebrates failure.
    I personally welcome you Indians, the dull & provincial people of Australia need a ‘wake-up’ call. Also the stagnant Australian economy needs more competition from skilled and intelligent-go-getter Indian men. I’m for any competition against the dull and ignorant Jews & Chinese, who have it good in Orstrayla for so long. All the Chinese and Jews do these days (especially my horrid twin-brother Stephen)is hoard real estate (land banking) promote ‘negative gearing’ as essential ,since the Jews & Chinese can’t succeed in any other industry in Australia, (except speculative industries like gambling). I think the Indians will be the ‘new Greeks’ of the 21st century. Well done India, your younger men ( & women too) will help re-stimulate the stagnant Australian ( & American economies).


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